Category Archives: deep thoughts

Focus 52: Shadows

I love make up.

I am a girly girl who lives and dies for the sparkle, the shimmer, the gloss, the gleam, the bling, the shiny and all things that are wonderfully and magically feminine.

Lately, I haven’t been feeling so girly.

Since my hysterectomy, it has been hard for me to jump back on the “Sparkle Wagon” as I call it and make myself fabulous.  It’s been a real struggle. A chore for me.  Even showering is a process.  Bending over to shave my legs is a true production as I can feel the incisions in my abdomen tugging hard to the point where they feel like they are going to snap.  Showering usually exhausts me to the point where I don’t feel like going out any longer.

The other day, in the mail, one of my dear friends, a fellow blogger who shares my love of all things make up, sent me a pallet of eye shadows, cheek tints and a nude lip gloss.  Just something to brighten my day and make me feel “gorg” (as she put it) after all the shit I have been through as of late.  Well, I played with those eye shadows in a gazillion different color combinations on my arm til it looked like one big long bruise.

You know, when a bruise is healing?  All those crazy colors; purples, yellows, greens, blues, blacks.

And when I realized that, I scrubbed my arm clean.  It brought me back to a time in my life where I had to rely on cover up, thick, copious amounts of cover up, to cover up bruises that were given to me by someone who claimed they loved me.  As I was washing off my arm, still staring at these glorious eye shadows, I wondered why…why would I be thinking about something so terrible out of nowhere when just five minutes earlier, I was in girly girl heaven?

Then, I realized.  20 years.  This November will be 20 years since someone tried to end my existence on this planet.  20 years since someone beat me into a coma with a baseball bat in front of my 4 year old daughter.  20 years since doctors told my parents that I may not come back from this and if I do, I will probably have severe brain damage for the rest of my life.  The “anniversary”, if you will, of one of the worst moments of my entire life.  I suppose it had been brewing just under the surface in me for awhile.  The night before receiving this wonderful present from my friend, I had had a very restless sleep.  At one point, my husband had to wake me, because not only had my sleep been fitful, but apparently at one point, I ended up flailing about, punching him violently and screaming for whomever I was dreaming about to “leave me alone, leave me alone…stop!”  My husband shook me awake.  “It’s me, baby…it’s me,” he said as he slowly brought me out of my tortured slumber and back into reality.  I stared at him for a minute, still confused and somewhat dazed.

“It’s me,” he said again, softly.

“Okay,” I nodded, understanding that he was reassuring me that I was safe.  “Okay.”

I curled back up on his chest and went back to sleep.

It’s peculiar to me that even 20 years later, the silliest of things can trigger me.  A certain scent.  The sound of a man’s voice when it is particularly gruff and laden heavily with a thick, italian accent.  There are specific sounds that make me jittery, like the sounds of footsteps on a wooden floor, especially if that wood floor creaks.  There are certain actors I can’t watch on TV or in the movies who remind me of my abuser and even if the movie is supposedly “sooooooooooo good,” I will still avoid it like the plague.

The day after I got my friends gift, I went back into my bathroom, and played in front of my mirror again, combining golds with peacock blues and and lush, rich purple shadows.  And it became fun again.  The joy was restored because those other shadows, the kind that hover over you and wake you from restful slumber…the kind that haunt your thoughts and dreams, the kinds that are long, tall and ominous?  They eventually go away.  And they are replaced by 16 pots of beautiful eye shadows sent with love from a gret friend.  A silly soap opera palette called “The Balm and the Beautiful”…with names like “The Other Woman”, “The Drama Queen” and my personal favorite, “The Perfect Man.”

However, I think I will steer clear of the one called “The Coma Patient” for a little while.

Hits a little too close to home.  😉

In Memory of the Puppy Monster.

Has it really been four years since I wrote this post?

If I was to recall the list of tragic events that have occurred in all my time as a blogger, this would be at the head of the list, because it was the first of many blogger tragedies that would follow in the subsequent years. It was the first blow that our large group of bloggers had ever really taken collectively.  Since then, husband have passed away.  Bloggers have passed away.  More children of Bloggers have passed away.  More than I care to remember.  The most recent, this past February

I can clearly remember the day that I received the call from Avitable.  Dave’s son had passed away in a tragic pool accident.  Can we rally the troops?  Can we do something, any thing, to ease Dave’s pain? 

And we had nothing.  All we had was our love, our support and our broken hearts. 

But what we also had between the two of us, was a very large blog following, and a call to arms was made by Avitable.  He spearheaded a campaign to gather an outpouring of support from all over the web. We sent out emails to everyone we knew.  People donated time, creating photos, creating t-shirts, making donation sites, soliciting funds to help pay for any expenses Dave may incur trying to lay his beautiful son to rest.  Whatever.  It didn’t matter.  We just needed to do something, any thing, to try and stop his pain.

A band aid on a bullet wound.  That’s all it was.

Now, four years later, nothing has changed…and yet, everything has changed.  But the memories of that day in June will never leave me.  The way everyone rallied together, came together to lift our friend from the depths of despair.  We all mourned in our own way.  Some people chose to blog about personal losses.  Some, like myself, chose to keep their blog silent for a week in tribute to DJ.  But, the same group who was there four years ago are still there now.  And we still rally around every year to remember DJ and remind Dave that he is loved. 

Life takes us in a million different directions.  We have priorities that pull us away from our friends daily lives.  We have Facebook now, where we can make a quick appearance, “like” a status and feel that replaces actual interaction.  Blogging is a lost art.  Facebook has stolen so much of the intimacy and warmth from our relationships.  But, oddly enough, this same group still refers to themselves as “Bloggers” and when we say that, the list of usual suspects come to mind.  We were all there for Dawg then.  We are still here now.  The heartbreak of DJ leaving this world has never left many of us. 

Tonight, I am thinking of DJ, of Dawg…and the outpouring of love and support that carried all of us through a tragic time.  We may not all be close any longer.  Some have left for greener pastures.  Others have just left altogether…but the memories that bound us back then still bind us now.  I am grateful for having known DJ, if only through his fathers eyes.  His posts about his beautiful little boy used to make me laugh. The videos of DJ eating out of a bowl of cereal bigger than his head, eating from a spoon twice the size of his little mouth always made me chuckle out loud. 

And in those videos, every once in awhile, he would glance sideways, up at his Dad…the Big Dawg, as if to ask, “Am I doing good, Daddy?”  And the Dawg would look down upon him with a smile that said,  “You’re doing great, Puppy Monster.”

Now it is DJ who is smiling down.  And I bet he thinks Daddy is doing just great.  Still. 

RIP Puppy Monster.  Sleep well, Little Angel.

Focus 52: "Mornings"

I hate mornings.

I detest mornings.  I am an insomniac, so I am all too familiar with the concept of being up at a sunrise.  Every morning, the sun rises, reminding me that for yet another night…I have not slept.  It is torture to me.  I am not the type of person who welcomes the sun with a cup of coffee and a positive attitude.  The sunrise says to me, “you are already several hours behind the pack, girlfriend.”  It says to me that it is now time for me to go to sleep, finally, and waste a good portion of the day.  By the time I wake up again, it will be about 3pm.  Too late to do any thing productive.  Generally, I fall asleep around noon, wake up late afternoon and by then, life has pretty much passed me by.  I resent the morning a great deal.  It bothers me.  And, no sooner did I see the sunrise, then I am waking up with a sunset looming only a mere three hours away. 

I loathe mornings. 

However, the only time I make peace with the morning light is when I am at the beach.  When I am on the beach, I don’t feel so much animosity towards the sunrise.  I appreciate it then…because the water is glimmering.  There are people on the shore, starting their day and admiring the sunshine.  Generally, these people have had a good nights sleep and are happy to see the sunshine…and I look at their faces with great appreciation for what they are feeling.  I know at that point…I can lay a blanket out on the sand, fall asleep under the sun, wake up in the late afternoon as I usually do and feel like I spent the day at the beach doing what everyone else is doing.  Lazing about just soaking in the sun.  It’s okay then, to greet the morning.  It doesn’t mock me so much when I am on the beach.  I don’t feel bad about having an insane sleep schedule.  I don’t hate the fact that I woke up so late in the day, because when you are on the beach…sleeping until the late afternoon is not only acceptable, it’s welcomed.

But, in my daily world…I hate mornings.  They remind me of just how much of my life I am wasting fighting with my body’s internal clock.  And it’s a waste of time.  A complete and utter waste of time.  It makes me feel bad about myself.  I hate feeling that way.  My sleep pattern has been erratic since I am a little girl.  Sometimes, I don’t sleep for two or three days and when I finally do, it is because the sun has risen and said to me…don’t you think it’s time to go to bed? 

And I always agree…and go to bed. 

I feel comfortable at night.  There is something about being awake all night long when most of the world is asleep that brings me comfort.  I can be alone in the silence and it is alright. I don’t have to talk to any one. I don’t have to answer to any one.  I don’t have to get dressed.  I don’t have to wash my face, brush my teeth and go out and run pretend errands that do not exist.  I can just sit quietly in the soft glow of my computer and do my thing.  Read.  Study.  Write letters.  Watch mindless television programs.  My DVR is filled with television programs that air during the daylight hours that I can watch at night.  Sometimes, I do. Sometimes, I don’t.  But at night, everything is my prerogative. 

Besides, everyone knows calories consumed after sunset don’t stay on the body.

I hate mornings.  I hate everything about them. 

And just when I decide to break up with them for good, my husband takes me to the beach and reminds me why it is okay to fall in love all over again.

It’s okay to cheat on a sunset, now and then.

Focus 52: "Cold"

This weeks prompt has had me so frustrated.  Cold.  How on earth do I do “Cold” when I live in Florida and the temperature is a balmy 73 degrees?  Florida has been the hold out in the United States as the ONLY state that did not cooperate during “Snowmageddon 2011”.  Every single other state in the union had snow on the ground except Florida.  Not even a hint of frost in the weeks since the holidays.  Nothing.

So, I search my house for the usual suspects.  My refrigerator?  That’s cold.  Perhaps some sort of artsy photo of my fridge which looks more from the exterior like a photo album? It’s covered in photographs of my kids, my niece and nephews.  My grandkids.  My children.  My husband and myself.  Bleah. Not feeling that idea at all.  A photo of my thermostat set at 68 degrees with the air conditioning on “high” because it is so warm in my house?  My photo cannot convey the feeling of cold like that.  What can I shoot that would convey a feeling of cold?

I go to the bathroom in my barefoot.  It’s freezing on the tile floor.  My legs get goose bumps! Oh, a pic of goosebumpy skin for “cold”!  Alas, by the time I grab my camera, the goosebumps dissipate.  My moment of “cold” is gone.  It IS cold in my house though.  My nipples are rock hard glass cutters right now.  My boobs straining against the fabric of my t-shirt would relay the look of “cold”…but hey, Jan is running a family show on the Focus 52 project, so perhaps a set of high beams pointing south is not the way to go. (However, the photo can be sent to whoever has an interest in seeing it.  Simply fill out an email with “erect nips” in the subject line.  For a meager fee of $9.95, I will forward the photo to you.  I accept PayPal.  I will also be happy to supply you with a receipt for your tax returns.  The desire to look at 44 year old erect nipples would clearly be a charitable gesture and probably would earn you a deduction on your return.  Offer not valid in Canada.  Sorry, Jan. LOL) 

I turn on YouTube for some musical inspiration and listen to one of my favorite songs, “Cold” by Annie Lennox.  Didn’t really inspire much of anything except my desire to listen to the rest of the album, Diva, which is arguably one of the best albums of the 1990’s…or like, ever.  She’s an amazing songstress with the vocal prowess of a thousand lovebirds all cooing in perfect harmony.  However, there is nothing “cold” about this moment and so, my idea of musical inspiration falls flat.  I sit here, staring at the screen…empty as the thoughts in my head.  All roads are leading me no where.  I turn to Google Images and pop “cold” into search bar and hit “I’m Feeling Lucky”.  I get this.  Sure. Leave it to me to find the ONE site on the entire internet that has the word “cold” in it…but is under construction.  Seriously?  Billions of sites with the word “cold” in it and I manage to find the one site that is as barren as a woman’s womb post hysterectomy.  Great.  So, I do it again, only this time…I hit “Images”.  It suggests: Are you looking for “cold sores”?  Um, no.  No, Google, I am not and if I were…I most assuredly would have found them during my stint as a single woman back in the 80’s because, well…it was the 80’s.  Think “free love” during the 60’s…only with neon colors, shoulder pads and replace the pot with cocaine.  I politely decline the offer of cold sores and hit Images again…with just plain, old fashioned, herpe-less “cold” in the search bar.  I am presented with this picture:

which is awesome and all because A) it’s true and B) it takes you to the artists site who drew the above picture which is the infamous Natalie Dee of Toothpaste for Dinner.  And, in what can only be described as Six Degrees of Separation/Kevin Bacon style…Natalie Dee is the artist who drew the little princess that adorns my header, sidebar and all the comments I leave for you people.  The irony is just too much to wrap my head around.

The internet is a strange and wonderful little paradise of coincidences and extraordinary occurrences, is it not?

It is at this point that I give up.  I will have to just take the stupid refrigerator picture that I thought of earlier and just be done with it.  Nothing else is coming into my head at this point.  I’m tired, it’s 6:45 in the morning and it is friggin’ freezing in this house.  I leave my office, shutting the light off behind me.  I have to wake up my son for school in about 20 minutes so to go lay down in my bed right now would be the equivalent of foreplay without orgasm.  It would feel good for about a minute but then, I would have to leave before sleep comes and frankly, that’s just a damn tease.  As I am walking down the hall, I circle back and decide to just check in on my sleeping son.  And…there it was.  My picture!  The moment!

I run back into my office and grab my camera to take a shot of this:

My baby boy. All bundled up in his comforter, pulled up to his neck…because he is, wait for it…wait for it…

COLD.

Is it genius? No.  A masterpiece? Not by a long shot.  But, what it IS is real.  A precious, non-pretentious, non-staged moment in time that gave me a heart warming picture to share with all of you.  When our babies become teenagers, it is rare that we have a moment of peace with them.  It’s always something, somewhere, somehow.  They are too busy to slow down to talk to you…or, when they want to finally say something, of course it is always at the same moment that now, YOU are too busy to slow down to talk to them.  But, when they are sleeping, time stops.  You are transported to a time when you held the cards, you had the power, you called all the shots.  You fed them, you bathed them, you dressed them and then, that wonderful moment where you laid them down to sleep for the night.  How peaceful they looked.  How quiet and sweet when their big teenage gaping maw is not blathering on and on in your ear, on the phone, in front of the television or with the stereo playing way too loud…despite the fact they have headphones on.

Right now, at this moment…he is my little boy.  And he is cold.

I put another blanket over him.  Tousle his moppy brown curls, now tiger striped with peroxide orange streaks from his latest teenage whimsical decision to bleach his hair and plant a kiss on the top of his head.  In 5 more minutes, I will be waking him up for school.  He will be a moody, agitated, annoyed teenager again and I will be the screeching banshee standing over him caterwauling “YOU’RE GONNA MISS THE BUS…GET UP!!!”

But shhhh…because right now, he’s still my little angel baby…all wrapped up, snuggled and content.  And suddenly, this really cold house feels warm again…right along with my heart.